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Fourth Grand Prix win for Nora Gjakova sends Kosovo top of the medal table
6 Apr 2018 19:00
Nora Gjakova of Kosovo won her fourth Grand Prix title in the last 12 months by defeating the returning two-time World Judo Masters bronze medallist Kim Jandi (KOR) in the U57kg final.
Kim JanDi fought only once last year as she earned a silver medal at the Hong Kong Asian Open in December and looked like a judoka who has been absent from the circuit as she exhibited a lack of match sharpness. In her third competition since Rio 2016, Kim squared off against an in-form Tunis Grand Prix gold medallist Gjakova who countered an ouchi-gari for ippon with 43 seconds left on the clock.
In the first semi-final Gjakova defeated two-time Pan American Championships bronze medallist Leilani Akiyama (USA) with 45 seconds left on the clock. Kosovo guaranteed their first medal of the competition when Gjakova threw Akiyama for a waza-ari and pinned down the American with a tate-shiho-gatame to advance to the final.
In the second semi-final Kim bested former world bronze medallist Sabrina Filzmoser (AUT) by the margin of two waza-ari scores to one. Kim countered an osoto-gari with an ouchi-gari for an opening waza-ari before the veteran Austrian restored level terms with a ura-nage. South Korea’s KIM booked her place in the final with a second ouchi-gari.
The first bronze medal was won by Filzmoser who illustrated her ne-waza prowess as the Austrian held down three-time Continental Open medallist Anna Righetti (ITA) for ippon. Filzmoser tangled Righetti into knots on the ground to win and kick-start her Tokyo 2020 bid.
The second bronze medal was won by Belgrade European Open bronze medallist Maayan Greenberg (ISR) who beat 21-time Grand Prix participant Akiyama. Grand Prix newcomer Greenberg made a dream debut by throwing her American rival with 63 seconds left for ippon with a ura-nage as Akiyama came agonisingly close to making her IJF World Judo Tour breakthrough.
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Nora and Akil Gjakova are the winners of the major sports prizes in Kosovo in 2018. The siblings won the main prizes in the 2018 Laureates Announcement Ceremony organized for the third time by the Kosovo Olympic Committee. Read more
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The last final of day 1 at the Grand Prix in Tashkent saw Germany’s super talent Theresa Stoll capturing gold in the final against Nora Gjakova of Kosovo who had recently won the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam. Gjakova had beaten Stoll a pair of times before and was poised to complete the hat-trick for Kosovo on the first day of competition in Uzbekistan. Read more
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